Welcome to BES-Net’s Land Degradation and Restoration module.

This module aims at providing online learning and networking opportunities on issues in the interface between science, policy and practice related to Land Degradation and Restoration.

In this module, you can learn more about the organisations who are working in this field, share information and knowledge, connect and interact with experts from around the globe, and find possible solutions to your specific questions.

What is land degradation and restoration?

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) defines land degradation as the reduction or loss, in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of rainfed cropland, irrigated cropland, or range, pasture, forest and woodlands resulting from land uses or from a process or combination of processes, including processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as:

  • Soil erosion caused by wind and/or water
  • Deterioration of the physical, chemical and biological or economic properties of soil
  • Long-term loss of natural vegetation.


Land restoration is defined as reversing land degradation processes by conversion to restorative land uses, adoption of recommended management practices and changes to enhance land resilience and restore soil productivity and ecosystem services.

We encourage you to visit the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Capacity Building Marketplace for an approach to this field going beyond biodiversity and ecosystem services for sustainable development, which is the focus of BES-Net. This platform brings needs and possible solutions together, linking demand for and supply of capacity building within the framework of the UNCCD for all concerned directly or otherwise with the UNCCD process. It is a joint effort between the UNCCD Secretariat, UN Environment and the GEF.

Land degradation and restoration in this module

Information in this module assesses and compares various existing concepts and perspectives related to land degradation and restoration, stemming from both science and other knowledge systems, including indigenous and local knowledge. It reviews various approaches used to assess a range of land degradation processes and how these impact on ecosystems, as well as to describe different responses, including rehabilitation and restoration.

In addition to all terrestrial regions and biomes of the world, information in the module also covers the impacts of land degradation on other resources such as freshwater, floodplains, wetlands and coastal systems. The focus is on how these ecosystems relate to the provision of services to people – food and water security, and exposure to natural hazards.

This module has been developed with inputs from the IPBES Secretariat and the UNDP Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (former Drylands Development Centre) It is aligned with the core chapters of the IPBES Assessment on Land Degradation and Restoration which is reviewing currently available knowledge and research on this subject.



Organisations and Initiatives

The following organisations and initiatives are leaders in the field of Land Degradation and Restoration. They have provided content, experts, and more to BES-Net. To learn more about a particular organization and the work they are doing click below.

Search library

Search or browse through our library of existing resources on Land Degradation and Restoration. Entries include scientific articles, reports, policy briefs, webinars, videos, and more. To view a particular resource, click below.


These individuals are experts in the field of Land Degradation and Restoration. BES-Net experts come from a wide range of sectors, from community activists to research scientists. They are available to answer questions, respond to polls, and engage in conversation with BES-Net users on their area of expertise. To learn more about an expert and their work, or get in touch with them, click below.